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‘Penny Dreadful’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Verbis Diablo”

Vanessa comes to Sir Malcolm for comfort the morning after the witches crash her prayer session in “Fresh Hell“. To help her find some measure of peace, Malcolm brings her to a soup kitchen to help feed London’s sick and poor. Later, Vanessa stumbles across Caliban/John Clare sitting alone in a corner, and they talk about poetry, religion, and accountability for your true natures. This is the most I’ve liked John, ever. Apparently all I need to warm up to a character is a conversation with Vanessa about the afterlife.

Malcolm: In the shadow of so much wealth, such suffering.

John is overjoyed with his new bride, who Victor names Lily. Victor, going off what he learned from his short time with Proteus (R.I.P.), teaches Lily how to speak (Brona’s infamous Irish accent is now gone, as Lily has adopted Victor’s way of speech) and explains that they are cousins and she’s suffered an accident, which is why she has no memory. I can already tell Victor’s already getting obsessively attached and I do not want it take it away.

Sir Malcolm runs into Evelyn Poole at the store while trying to pick out a gift for Vanessa, and Evelyn casts a spell of some kind on him. They go on an outing to a gun range, Malcolm becoming more bewitched by Evelyn the more time he spends with her.

The always fantastic Ferdinand Lyle arrives to help the crew learn about Verbis Diablo, and is immediately taken with Ethan and his American accent, to the amusement of everyone in the room (Sembene’s little grin was adorable.) Lyle and Ethan go off to track down and steal the only written record of the Verbis Diablo, squirreled away in the British Museum. While there, Ethan notices a family crest painted with wolves, and remembers watching a wolf pack kill when he was young — tearing their prey’s windpipe out.

Lyle: After years of confinement and torment, they were finally convinced he was not in fact mad, but possessed by the Devil. They burned him at the stake.
Victor: God love religion.

Dorian is pining over Vanessa when he’s approached by a transwoman named Angelique. He later visits her at her workplace, a brothel. Meanwhile, the detective on the Mariner’s Inn case finds his lone survivor horribly disfigured in the hospital, half his face ripped off.

At Frankenstein’s home, John is introduced to Lily, transformed with freshly dyed, short blond hair, while back at Sir Malcolm’s place the rest of the crew begin to piece together the puzzle of the Verbis Diablo.

Hecate attacks a couple on the train to steal their baby, and brings it to her mother at their lair. There, we see that Lyle is being blackmailed by Evelyn, who has photographs of him sleeping with other men. Evelyn takes the baby into a room full of horrific antique dolls and begins to gut the baby and rip its intestines out (the baby is already dead, thank all the gods) to make a mask of Vanessa’s face.

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